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GOTTHEIL, RICHARD JAMES HORATIO:

American Orientalist; professor of Semitic languages, Columbia University, New York; born in Manchester, England, Oct. 13, 1862; son of Gustav Gottheil; educated at Chorlton High School, England, and at Columbia College, New York. He was graduated from Columbia College in 1881, and continued his studies abroad at the universities of Berlin, Tübingen, and Leipsic (Ph.D. 1886). On his return to America he was appointed instructor in the Syriac language and literature at Columbia College (Nov. 1, 1886). When the chair of rabbinical literature at Columbia was endowed, Oct. 7, 1887, Gottheil was elected to it by the board of trustees. On the retirement of Professor Peck in 1889, the work of the section of Semitic languages was transferred to Gottheil (June 3), first as instructor and later (April 4, 1892) as professor, a position he still holds (1903). He has published: "The Syriac Grammar of Mar Elia of Zobha," Berlin, 1887; "Jewish History in the Nineteenth Century"; and numerous articles in educational works, including the "World's Best Literature," "Johnson's Encyclopedia." and the "International Encyclopedia." He has edited two volumes of "Persian Classics" in English for the Colonial Press; is permanent editor of the "Columbia University Oriental Series" and (with J. Jastrow, Jr.) of the "Semitic Study Series" (Leyden). In 1898 he was elected president of the American Federation of Zionists, and chief of the Oriental Department of the New York Public Library. Professor Gottheil is a member of the Central Committee of the Zionist organization, and in the capacity of delegate attended the Zionistic congresses held at Basel in 1898, 1899, and 1903 (see Basel Congress) and at London in 1900; he is also a member of various learned societies. He is a member of the council of the American Oriental Society, and president (1903) of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis; he was one of the founders and the first vice-president of the "Judæans"; founder and president of the (Jewish) ReligiousSchool Union in New York; and is connected with the Jewish Chautauqua Society.

Bibliography:
  • Who's Who, 1903-05;
  • American Israelite, Dec. 11, 1903, p. 5.
A. F. H. V.
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